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AFL-CIO Now

Rep. Ellison Calls for End of Crystal Sugar Lockout

Wednesday marked the six-month anniversary of America Crystal Sugar Co.’s lockout of 1,300 workers and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) told the U.S. House: “It’s time for the company to negotiate.”

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Hey, ALEC! Gotcha!

Not that we ever believed right-wing lawmakers in the first place. But the cover’s been blown on all who claim that the extremist bills they introduce—uncannily similar from state to state—are the works of their own fertile but twisted minds.

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State Dept. Cracks Down on Abuse of Foreign Students by Hershey and Others

In response to protests by foreign students exploited in a factory subcontracted by the Hershey Company and advocacy by the AFL-CIO and our allies, this week the U.S. State Department announced that it will make major revisions to a guest-worker and cultural exchange visa program and barred participation by a major player in the program, the Council for Educational Travel, USA (CETUSA).

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Take Action to Help Cleaning Workers in Netherlands

Spreading the word here from our friends at LabourStart, who sent this action request (and plug for its conference this year).

They’re calling it the “uprising of the invisible.”

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Economy Adds 243,000 Jobs, Unemployment Drops to 8.3 Percent

The nation’s unemployment rate in January fell to 8.3 percent, down from December’s 8.5 percent, and the economy added 243,000 jobs, according to the latest figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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More than 1,500 Workers Join AFL-CIO Unions

Warehouse workers, school bus drivers, teachers, mechanics, telecommunication and manufacturing workers all have recently won a voice at work with AFL-CIO unions.

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Affordable Care Act Saves Seniors $2.1 Billion in Drug Costs

The Affordable Care Act has saved nearly 3.6 million people enrolled in Medicare $2.1 billion on their prescription drugs in 2011, finds a new report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says the health care reform law signed by President Obama in 2010:

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Hate the Pay Gap? Take the App Challenge

If you’re frustrated about the wage gap that persists between male and female workers, you can channel your energy into a new contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and President Obama’s National Equal Pay Task Force.

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ALEC Education ‘Academy’ Launches on Island Resort

This is a cross-post by Dustin Beilke from PR Watch.

Today, hundreds of state legislators from across the nation will head out to an island resort off the coast of Florida to a unique “education academy” sponsored by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). There will be no students or teachers. Instead, legislators, representatives from right-wing think tanks and for-profit education corporations will meet behind closed doors to channel their inner Milton Friedman and promote the radical transformation of the American education system into a private, for-profit enterprise.

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Important Note for Recent Union Plus Scholarship Applicants

Tom Chiancone, Union Plus Scholarship Program Manager, sends this report on recent problems some people had applying online for a Union Plus scholarship.

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